Trade panel to look into digital television order

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. trade panel said on Tuesday that it would investigate complaints that companies were violating its ban on imports of digital screens using patented Funai Electric Co technology.

The International Trade Commission had ruled for Funai Electric Co in a battle over patented technology used to make digital screens. The ITC had ordered a long list of companies -- including Vizio, AmTran, TPV Technology, Top Victory Electronics, Envision and Proview International -- to stop making the screens and/or to stop importing them.

That order was issued in April, and in August Funai complained to the ITC that the infringement was continuing. It asked for an investigation.

“The commission has determined to institute a formal enforcement proceeding to determine whether the respondents are in violation of the commission’s limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders issued in the investigation, and what, if any, enforcement measures are appropriate,” the panel said in a statement on Tuesday.

Taiwan’s AmTran makes the Vizio brand flat-screen televisions while TPV Technology is a top global PC monitor maker. It also makes LCD televisions.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Richard Chang